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Rural Pennsylvania Water Project Protects Environment, Enhances Quality of Life and Allows for Economic Growth

By Tom Williams, Pennsylvania State Director, USDA Rural Development

I joined Congressman Mark Critz (PA-12th), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other state and local officials this week to celebrate a long-awaited groundbreaking for Pegasus Sewer Authority in Johnstown.  Thanks to the teamwork of federal, state and local agencies, the maximum amount of government funding was utilized for the project, allowing hundreds of rural residents in Conemaugh and Richland Townships to benefit from the $21.3 million sewer extension project while keeping their monthly sewer bills affordable. This public sewer access will allow for residential and commercial growth in the rural communities. Read more »

Seventeen Forest Service Delegates Attended the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival in New York City’s Central Park

By Deidra McGee, USDA Forest Service Public Affairs

On June 19 and 20, the USDA Forest Service sent 17 delegates from across the country to join with 520 young adults from across the country for the world’s first two-day Outdoor Youth Summit and Festival in New York City’s Central Park. With the emphasis on youth engagement, the Forest Service thought it was vital to go to the source and ask young people for their ideas and thoughts about conservation in America. Read more »

Community Captures ‘Can-Do’ Attitude

By Megan Harrison, USDA Rural Development Public Relations Intern

As part of USDA Rural Development celebrating June as National Homeownership Month, I travelled to Carlock, Ill., to visit the site of six brand-new homes.  These weren’t just ordinary homes, however.  Not only were they “green” homes, but they were part of a self-help project where the families helped each other build the homes. Read more »

Making Access to Nutrition Assistance a Reality in Los Angeles

The USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships co-hosted with USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and USDA FNS Western Regional Office Administrator Allen Ng, another successful community roundtable. More than 100 people attended, including State, county, and city leaders; promotoras; and representatives from faith-based organizations, community groups, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Los Angeles Food Bank, area hospitals, and the Mexican Consulate. Special guests included California Endowment Director Dr. Beatriz Solis and the legendary farmworkers’ advocate Dolores Huerta. Panelists included John A. Wagner, Director of the California Department of Social Services, and Philip Browning, Director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. Read more »

USDA Forest Service Recreation Program Contributes to Local Economies, Promotes Healthy Lifestyles

The USDA Forest Service has released an updated report today that documents how national forests provide economic, health and recreational benefits.

The National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) Report states that recreation activities on national forests and grasslands have helped to sustain an estimated 223,000 jobs in rural areas and have contributed approximately $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Read more »

Apps for Healthy Kids: All Hands on Deck to End Childhood Obesity

Cross-Posted from the Let’s Move Blog

By Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer

Thank you for your participation! By the time the Apps for Healthy Kids competition submission period closed last week, we had 160 submissions in hand and nearly 20,000 supporters. Now we are reviewing all submissions for eligibility and will have them all up on the www.appsforhealthykids.com website and ready to view by July 14. Our intention through this endeavor was to inspire software developers, game designers, and students from across the United States to develop fun and engaging tools to inspire and empower children to eat better and be more physically active. We are very excited to have received your many creative submissions, and equally excited to transition now to the voting phase of the competition. Read more »